At Freedom Park summer 2010

Monday, August 20, 2012

The football

Good Morning is a beautiful sunshiny August morning with temps in 40's.  It will get up to 70's today but cool down again tonight.  (Isn't that September weather?)  Your cats are loving this.  Instead of taking advantage of Buck and Pele' being kenneled at night so they have full run of the house - they go out at night and come in when the sun comes up.  If they weren't all "fixed" I might wonder what all they were up to at those hours, but that isn't what I am writing to tell you about today - it was just a bonus to let you know that they were all a-okay.

Do you remember that football that Phillip left here.  No - not the Nerf one that you chewed up in a day.  I mean that real official pigskin football - the one you worked all summer to disassemble.  Yeah - that one.......well Pele' has found more parts to it.  You hid them pretty good because Ike and Buck didn't find them but Pele' is relentless.  When he is on a mission nothing is buried too deep nor hidden too well.

I told you he found the air bladder and enjoyed shaking the stink out of it as much as you did - but now he has also found half of the "pigskin" cover - and is still looking for the rest.  Apparently the skin doesn't shake as well as the bladder but he is not chewing it either...I wonder if it is real pigskin afterall.  At any rate he is dragging it all over the place like it is his new best friend.  He only tried to bring it in to the house once - now he has found a "safe" place right beside the door to stash it when he comes in - and to check it or pick it up when he goes out.

You have to remember that he is only half your size (but still slightly larger then Midnight) so dragging that chuck of football skin around looks like he has something major in his mouth.  I guess it is major to was to you!  Where did you bury/hide that anyway?  I know where the bladder was but not the chunks of the outside of that poor football.

You started on it as a teething pup and learned nothing more then how to hold it down and gum it to death.  As you grew I began to see teeth marks show - mostly just scrapes.  It took you a while to figure out that the pointed ends were not the best place to do any serious work at destruction (or disassembly) of a football - and those seams were so tight!  Then you found the laces.  Even then I began to wonder if your project was just something to do, a goal, or lifetime entertainment. 

You took your time with it and did get it apart without tearing the skin - so there is still two pieces of skin, still stiched together, out there somewhere.  I think if you had taken it apart and separated all the pieces - none of them would have been large enough to be much fun for anything - or even a good trophy for all your hard work.

Did you think you hit the jackpot the day that air bladder came popping out?  I actually think you were kind of ticked off that there was another round thing (with no laces) to have to deal with.  It took you several weeks of chewing on that tough rubber bladder to pop it - and the escaping air scared you silly.  It made a funny noise and moved around a little bit all by itself.  When you put your paw on it - it made more funny noise and you jumped back to study it for a while.

Eventually it lost enough air that your paw no longer made it sound funny so after you pawed it six ways to Sunday - you figured it was safe to pick it up.  I will never forget that day.  It hung limply in your mouth and you had no idea what to do with it.  I think you first shook it in an effort to wake it up again or something - because it sure didn't look like it was going to be very interesting or fun in this condition..........but we both know what happened when you shook it.

It slapped you up both sides of the head and made an whole new sound.  You decided that was pretty cool and you shook it and shook it and shook it until I thought you might hurt yourself.  You were a happy boy and that rubber bladder became your favorite toy.  I didn't tell you that shaking the thing has an instict for you and that you were simulating what you would do to kill prey if you were hunting.  That probably would have taken all the fun out of it for you so I just let you play and practice.

You were shaking that bladder as you frolicked in that first real snowfall on the day you disappeared.  You left it down by the clothes line.  I saw it in the spring when the snow melted but couldn't bring myself to move it from where you left it.  I think Ike found it and moved it up in to the Day Lily patch before he left us.  That is where Pele' found it - on one of his mouse hunts.

I offered to buy Phillip a new one but he said he wasn't worried about it.  He had to have somebody to play catch with anyway and the girls just weren't in to that.  He would come and watch you carry the darn thing around and kept track of your progress with it.  He though the bladder shaking was pretty cool too.

That silly football has given so many of us such pleasure that I think it was just meant to be disassembled.  Thank you for the diligence to get it done and all the entertainment in the process - and since.  It is little things like this that keep you in my heart and keep me hoping that someday you will get back home to carry on the project and play.  There is a basket ball here now and Buck isn't much interested in it so it is still round and full of air.......

I love you Starskey and I am still looking for you!